Today Access Now joined other human rights groups in a public letter to Novalpina Capital expressing concerns regarding accountability for NSO Group’s involvement in previously documented spyware abuses, Novalpina’s current approach to addressing human rights impacts associated with NSO Group’s products and services, and the future trajectory of the company.
“NSO Group products and services have been used to target civil society and have contributed to serious human rights abuses,” said Melody Patry, Advocacy Director at Access Now. “It is time for the company and its owners to go beyond public relations exercises and fully address the harms associated with their invasive surveillance technology and business practices.”
In the letter, signatories regret the lack of civil society consultation from Novalpina Capital prior to its acquisition of NSO Group, and ask for more details on the extent of due diligence the firm undertook, before the purchase.
“When it comes to the development, marketing, sale, and use of private surveillance technology, we see a global crisis of accountability. Impunity reigns, even after this sector has been linked to high profile murders and persecution of human rights defenders,” said Peter Micek, General Counsel at Access Now.
“Private ethical standards in no way substitute for human rights law,” added Micek. “Meaningful measures to mitigate the human rights impacts of NSO Group products and services start with transparency, and we look forward to hearing more from Novalpina Capital and the NSO Group about their policies and procedures to remedy past harms and prevent further abuse. Next, we see the need for government regulation, as through export controls that put human rights at their heart.”
Update: February 20, 2019
Access Now received a letter from Novalpina Capital dated February 15, 2019, and replied on February 20, 2019.